Receiving the Light • Devotion #1: “O Come All Ye Faithful”

John Francis Wade (1711-1786) composed both the Latin words and the music for “O Come All Ye Faithful.” After the initial work, it is said to be a collaboration of several people. A lot of the English language translation is the work of Frederick Oakeley, under the title, “Let us go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass.” It is taken from Luke 2:15, “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’” There are three main verses with each being followed by the chorus.

O come, all ye faithful,

Joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.

Come and behold Him,

Born the King of Angels;

O Sing, choirs of angels,

Sing in exultation,

Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.

Give to our Father glory in the Highest;

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,

Born this happy morning,

O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;


O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

The word “adore” is fascinating. Merriam-Webster defines it as to worship or honor as a deity or as divine, to regard with loving admiration and devotion, and to be very fond of. Some synonyms are to cherish, love, worship, admire, delight in, fall for, dig, esteem, exalt, glorify, honor, prize, reverence, treasure, be crazy about, be mad for, be nuts about, be serious about, be smitten with, be stuck on, be wild about, dote on, and flip over. Do any of these words or phrases capture your mind as you think about adoring the Lord this Christmas season?

The shepherds’ response reminds me of Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”

How would you have felt if you were one of the shepherds who saw and heard the angels on that first Christmas night? How fast would you have traveled to Bethlehem? What would have been going through your mind? In what ways will you come to behold and adore Jesus this Christmas?

“And you shall love the Lord your God

with all your heart

and with all your soul

and with all your mind

and with all your strength.”

Mark 12:30

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